Praise, outrage, tears over Alex Tizon’s ‘slave’ story

shirley - Copy While the Pulitzer Award-winning journalist Alex Tizon’s essay “My Family’s Slave” has moved many Filipinos to tears, it has also sparked heated debate about attitudes toward having a housemaid in the family – still quite common in the Philippines. Does it constitute slavery if the family is harsh and exploitative, benevolence if the family is kind and compassionate?

Allegations of human trafficking entered the picture after it was revealed in the essay that Eudocia Tomas Pulido, the ‘Lola’ who had served the Tizon family in helpless subservience for more than 40 years, was never compensated. She was kept mostly at home because Tizon’s parents feared that having an undocumented servant in the household might lead to their deportation. Calls for an investigation by the Human Trafficking unit of the Justice Department brought the conversation around this heartbreaking story into a totally unexpected direction.

The FilAm is reprinting below some responses to this complicated essay that’s generating spirited, fiery discussions on social media. – Cristina DC Pastor





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